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August 8, 2014

How to keep your kids safe with Lumia

If you’re a parent, your children’s safety and security are always uppermost on your mind. How do you protect them in the physical and digital worlds?

First, check out Microsoft’s expert advice on mobile phone safety for kids. Then, deputize your family’s Lumia smartphones to help protect your kids: Activate Kid’s Corner and check out the security apps below. That way, they can safely surf the Web, access appropriate apps, and play games on your Lumia — all with your seal of approval!

KeepTrackappKeepTrack is a free app that tracks the whereabouts of your children (and other family members, if you wish) via LiveTrack. See where they are on a map and send them private messages with Keep Track’s integrated, secure instant-messaging feature.

Another feature that’s handy — but hopefully one your kids will never need to use — is SOS mode. If they feel they’re in danger, they can activate this mode with one click. Doing so will alert you and other “trusted connections” by text message that they need help; the message will also include specific location information. And of course, you can pin a LiveTile for each of your children on your Start screen.

familysafeappThe motto of FamilySafe is “Family Protection Everywhere” and they’re not kidding. This free app is similar to KeepTrack, but it has one more feature you may like: safety zones. By setting up virtual safety zones on your family’s smartphones, you’ll be notified when their devices move out of — or back into — designated geographic areas.

Does your kid tend to lose his or her smartphone? Well, with FamilySafe’s GPS tracking, finding it makes it easy. You can add up to six people and an unlimited number of devices on one FamilySafe subscription.

safebrowser2Safe Browser For added protection, use this free app in conjunction with Kid’s Corner. You can select web content categories they cannot see, such as “gambling,” “shopping,” alcohol and tobacco,” and “chat.” Phishing and malware sites are also automatically blocked to help create a safe browsing environment, and you can create a separate list of personal Web bookmarks for your children.

Last but not least, Microsoft also has tips and advice for parents on related topics, such as setting rules for online safety, cyber bullying, and playing online games. Check them out here.